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Lowfat Chocolate-Zucchini Brownies with Applesauce Instead of Oil: Better Than You Might Expect


Try It ... I Think You'll Like It, Too

I know, zucchini and applesauce don't exactly conjure images of rich, delectable brownies. And in all honesty, if you're expecting these to taste just like the "real thing" -- that is, the ooey, gooey kind of brownies that are packed with oh-so-tasty fat and calories -- then you'll probably be somewhat disappointed. At least, at first bite.

But this "slimmer," healthier alternative, while lighter and chewier, really do taste good and, for my husband and me, fulfill that chocolatey, desserty NEED without sabotaging the dietary lifestyle change we made together. In fact, we cut the amount of sugar down to 1 cup instead of the 1-1/2 cup I've listed in the ingredients, and, while a bit less sweet, we both think they still taste really good.

Personally, I find that these brownies, which are made with applesauce instead of oil and no butter (except to grease the pan if that's what you choose to use), are better when allowed to cool and, as I like to say, sit for a while and think about their desserty-ness, rather than eaten hot from the oven. But that's just me.

If you really want to doctor these up a bit and don't mind adding calories, you can always add some chocolate chips (I recommend dark chocolate) and/or walnuts to the mix.

We had to play around a bit with the amount of applesauce for this recipe, having to add some because originally the batter was too much like dough, but these are the measurements that worked best for us.

So, enjoy! (I hope!)

Cook Time

Prep Time:

Total Time:



  • Flour, 2 cups
  • Cocoa, 1/2 cup
  • Baking soda, 1-1/2 teaspoon
  • Sugar, 1-1/2 cups (or less ... we used 1 cup)
  • Salt, 1 teaspoon
  • Zucchini, 2 cups shredded
  • Applesauce, unsweetened, 1-1/2 cups
  • Vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease and flour a 9x13 baking pan.
  3. Combine the applesauce, sugar and vanilla.
  4. Stir in the shredded zucchini.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  6. Bake for 20-30 minutes, using the toothpick test starting at 20 minutes to see if it's done.

Rate this Zucchini Brownie Recipe

More Desserts on the Lighter Side

Prefer going low-fat and low-cholesterol when satisfying your sweet tooth? Then there's really no better resource than the American Heart Association, which has put together this book of more than 100 heart-healthy recipes, like pecan cookies and German chocolate cake, that reviewers say often taste just as good as their fatty counterparts, or at least take their place very well.

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© 2014 Deb Kingsbury

Do have a favorite low-fat dessert? And do you ever use applesauce for baking instead of oil or butter?

peachy from Home Sweet Home on February 06, 2015:

Yum yum i love the picture, must try one day

Fay Favored from USA on February 08, 2014:

Love brownies. I've used applesauce in many of my dessert recipes, but never thought about it for brownies. Thanks.

Elsie Hagley from New Zealand on January 31, 2014:

Yummy I can taste that, it looks nice and moist, but I would most likely spoil it, for me vanilla icecream would make my day. As you can see I love my ice cream, few more calories, but i can work it off.

Stephen J Parkin from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada on January 30, 2014:

I have seen and tried a recipe similar to this and it is really quite good. However I now have a new recipe using black beans, cocoa powder, raw almond butter, chia seeds, vanilla and dates. No sugar and no flour so good for diabetics, and the gluten intolerant as well. It is actually a recipe from Dr Joel Fuhrman's book Eat to Live cookbook so I will not give the exact details here. You blend all of the ingredients in a how powered blender or food processor and bake for 90 minutes at 200F.

Good recipe but not my top choice sorry!

ssphia on January 30, 2014:

Just seeing already whets the appetite! I love chocolate and I will try it soon, also has the advantage of being a healthier recipe that others who have more calories! Thanks for sharing it!

Mary Crowther from Havre de Grace on January 08, 2014:

I have used applesauce in muffins before and they are quite tasty. I love that you have zucchini in the brownies too, nice and healthy!

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